To the editor:
Two weeks ago, I attended a meeting in Smithfield. The meeting was called to discuss whether or not to let Jefferson County take over its water department. All three county commissioners attended. The commissioners said that they really didn't want the water department, but they would forgive the $150,000 unpaid water bill if they took it over. This is confusing. They said they don't want it, but they give away $150,000 to get it. Some more confusion - if you are a county water district customer with a delinquent water bill, you should get a shut-off notice. Then they will shut your water off until you pay your bill. However, Smithfield gets a bonus for not paying its bill. Is this fair?
With these county commissioners, it doesn't matter. When asked about having a meeting for the county water district's customers, they weren't interested. How do you ignore more than 7,000 customers, whose money you are giving away, to benefit about 400 customers who owe $150,000?
In one of my earlier letters, I told the readers that water customers could run this county if they stood together. This is the time. When you are denied representation by the people who are supposed to represent you, it's time to make a change. Fortunately, two commissioners are seeking re-election. In both cases there is an opposing candidate.
Here's how we do it. The 7,000 voting customers translate into 15,000 votes. All water customers and their resident dependents 18 years or older should register to vote and then do so. No politicians in the county can overcome that number of votes. Get rid of these guys, now. If you don't like the replacements, in four years get rid of them, too,
Here are a couple of more reasons to get rid of the two commissioners who are seeking another term: Commissioner Dave Maple is responsible for your sewer bill being as high as it is. He almost single-handedly rammed that rate increase down your throat. Commissioner Tom Gentile is leading the charge to buy a building to house the county offices that the county doesn't need nor the taxpayers can afford.
By the way, they are the same two county commissioners who were willing to inconvenience an entire community by creating a walking trail on old state Route 7 north of Toronto.
William R. Kopras
Cross Creek Township